Fund wage increases for school support workers, demand Surrey trustees

— image credit:

Surrey school support workers should get a raise, say Surrey trustees, but any increase needs to be funded by the provincial government.

The stance was voiced by the Surrey Board of Education Thursday, spurred by a motion from Trustee Terry Allen.

He was responding to the province's request last month that B.C. districts fund wage increases through the Cooperative Gains Mandate – which provides for "modest" public sector raises "made possible by productivity increases within existing budgets," according to the Ministry of Finance website.

In December, Minister of Education Don McRae told school districts to work on a “savings plan” to fund wage increases – a directive that enraged financially tight school districts, and for which the minister subsequently apologized.

Still, Allen urged his fellow trustees to take a stand in light of years of looming budget shortfalls.

"I'm majorly concerned," Allen said. "This school district is facing numerous increases in costs. To ask the school district to find places to cut … is absolutely ridiculous."

He said a zero-wage increase for support workers, which include a range of positions, including clerical, custodial, maintenance, and childcare workers, is "not acceptable."

His fellow trustees agreed, resolving write to the minister voicing Surrey's support for fully funded wage increases to support staff.

"I was getting worried that we were the only district that hadn't taken a position on this," said Trustee Laurae McNally.

In a letter to The Leader earlier this month, Janice Meehan, president of CUPE 728, said support workers in Surrey are well aware of the effects of an underfunded school system.

"While we have made some gains in recognizing the unpaid work done by our Education Assistants we are falling behind in other areas," she said. "… our members are being stretched to do more with less time."


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
BCTF executive recommends six-year teacher deal (VIDEO)
If teacher deal accepted, back to class Monday for Surrey and Delta students
Metal dealing law aims to crimp wire thieves
Family issues appeal to find Crystal Ratvay of Abbotsford
Henrik, Daniel Sedin talk 2014 season, new teammates, and their weekend in Agassiz
David Letterman says wife "horribly hurt" by sex scandal
White Rock waterfront air quality to be monitored
UPDATE: Missing teen found
Preliminary hearing for man accused of molesting boys

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.